Saturday, July 13, 2013

Photo: Review

When I think of Sammy Davis, Jr. I think of the Rat Pack.  I think of Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts. I think of the famous All in the Family episode with Archie Bunker.  I think of a singer and a dancer and an all-out terrific entertainer.  I don't think of photography.  Or at least I didn't before I read Photo--a book of Sammy Davis Jr's photographs with commentary edited and put together by Burt Boyar from taped interviews with Sammy Davis Jr.  As one of the blurbs says: "Sammy never went anywhere without a camera.  There was no bridge, historical landmark, or person who was safe from capture by his camera lens." His enormous photo collection includes everyone from presidents to movie stars to the man on the street.  He has Sinatra in his pajamas and Martin Luther King Jr. at the Lincoln Memorial.  He recorded a warm day in uptown New York City with folks sitting on their porch steps and the beautiful view from his San Francisco suite.

This a marvelous coffee table book--and one of the few coffee table books that I've read from cover to cover.  I didn't do that just because I needed it for a book challenge or two (or more...)--but because I was hooked from the moment I opened it until the moment I put it down again.  Just as Sammy Davis Jr. was from the moment as he says "Jerry [Lewis] gave me my first important camera, my first 35 millimeter, during the Ciro's period, early '50s. And he hooked me."  Pick this book up and I guarantee that you'll be hooked too.  Five stars.

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